GMAT Question of the Day - Daily to your Mailbox; hard ones only

It is currently 20 Nov 2018, 17:57

Close

GMAT Club Daily Prep

Thank you for using the timer - this advanced tool can estimate your performance and suggest more practice questions. We have subscribed you to Daily Prep Questions via email.

Customized
for You

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Track
Your Progress

every week, we’ll send you an estimated GMAT score based on your performance

Practice
Pays

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Not interested in getting valuable practice questions and articles delivered to your email? No problem, unsubscribe here.

Close

Request Expert Reply

Confirm Cancel
Events & Promotions in November
PrevNext
SuMoTuWeThFrSa
28293031123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
2526272829301
Open Detailed Calendar
  • All GMAT Club Tests are Free and open on November 22nd in celebration of Thanksgiving Day!

     November 22, 2018

     November 22, 2018

     10:00 PM PST

     11:00 PM PST

    Mark your calendars - All GMAT Club Tests are free and open November 22nd to celebrate Thanksgiving Day! Access will be available from 0:01 AM to 11:59 PM, Pacific Time (USA)
  • Free lesson on number properties

     November 23, 2018

     November 23, 2018

     10:00 PM PST

     11:00 PM PST

    Practice the one most important Quant section - Integer properties, and rapidly improve your skills.

Centuries ago, biologists undertook the challenge of defining the term

  new topic post reply Question banks Downloads My Bookmarks Reviews Important topics  
Author Message
TAGS:

Hide Tags

Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 13 Dec 2011
Posts: 49
GPA: 4
Reviews Badge
Centuries ago, biologists undertook the challenge of defining the term  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 21 Aug 2014, 08:15
4
26
00:00
A
B
C
D
E

Difficulty:

  45% (medium)

Question Stats:

56% (01:09) correct 44% (01:15) wrong based on 1042 sessions

HideShow timer Statistics

Centuries ago, biologists undertook the challenge of defining the term “species,” however, even today, no single definition is universally accepted.

A. however, even today, no single definition is universally accepted.
B. but even today, have not universally accepted a single definition.
C. but even today, no single definition is universally accepted.
D. but today, no single definition is even universally accepted.
E. however, even today, a single definition is not universally accepted.

Don't just answer the question, get some explanations going!!
Most Helpful Expert Reply
Magoosh GMAT Instructor
User avatar
G
Joined: 28 Dec 2011
Posts: 4488
Re: Centuries ago, biologists undertook the challenge of defining the term  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 21 Aug 2014, 13:27
17
9
execnitinsharma wrote:
Centuries ago, biologists undertook the challenge of defining the term “species,” however, even today, no single definition is universally accepted.

A. however, even today, no single definition is universally accepted.
B. but even today, have not universally accepted a single definition.
C. but even today, no single definition is universally accepted.
D. but today, no single definition is even universally accepted.
E. however, even today, a single definition is not universally accepted.

Don't just answer the question, get some explanations going!!

Dear execnitinsharma,
I'm happy to respond. :-)

The first split concerns the word "however", a somewhat contentious grammar topic. True grammatical purists such as myself would say that the word "however" should not be used as a synonym for "nevertheless," and should only be used as a relative adverb ("However one might learn a new language, the first challenge is ..."). The GMAT does not adhere to those very high standards, and occasionally will use "however" as a synonym for "nevertheless." When used this way, "however" or "nevertheless" is a strong enough break that is requires a semicolon break in the sentence. It is not enough to have a comma splice separation: that is a kind of run-on sentence. Even if one allows for this expanded use of the word "however," using it in the middle of a sentence with a comma splice constitutes a run-on sentence, and both (A) & (E) make this mistake. They are both wrong.

Choice (D) makes a fascinating logical mistake. The intensifying adverb "even" must emphasize something that is extraordinary, contrary to expectations. "Even today" emphasizes that one might expect that scientist have worked out this definition long ago, and contrary to these expectations, they still haven't! That's a correct use of "even." By contrast, in (D) we have "even universally accepted" as if "universally accepted" is not something standard; but, the precise point of the sentence is --- it's the common standard in science for single definition of a term to be universally accept, and it's quite unusually that the term "species" has not achieved this status. In choice (D), the word "even" is emphasizing the exact opposite of what it should be emphasizing. Choice (D) is quite wrong.

Then we get to the split between (B) & (C). Choice (C) is perfectly correct, smooth, and completely natural sounding. It is flawless. It's hard to explain what is not ideal about (B) --- it's grammatically correct, but off. One problem is that the verb "have ... accepted" gets awkwardly divided with the adverb --- that is not clearly "wrong" but its slightly awkward. Also, consider the rhetorical focus of the sentence --- the topic of the sentence really is the term "species" -- as much as possible, the topic of the sentence should be the subject. It's not the subject of the first clause, but we can make it the subject of the second clause, and that's better than making the biologists the subject again. ---- Also, there's a very subtle logic mistake in choice (B). Think about that first subject. The subject is "biologists," and the particular "biologists" we have in mind are ones that were working on this problem "centuries ago." They are all dead now. The folks working "even today" are still biologists, but they are not the SAME biologists. This is problematic for the personal pronoun "they" --- technically, a personal pronoun establishes a "personal" connection with its antecedent, and it must refer exactly to its antecedent. Technically, to denote a new group of biologists, biologists alive now as opposed to biologist centuries ago, we would need a demonstrative pronoun (e.g. "those alive now ..."), not a personal pronoun. All of these problems make (B) unacceptable.

Choice (C) is the best answer, the only possible answer. Another high quality question from Veritas.

Mike :-)
_________________

Mike McGarry
Magoosh Test Prep


Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. — William Butler Yeats (1865 – 1939)

Most Helpful Community Reply
Retired Moderator
User avatar
Joined: 15 Jun 2012
Posts: 1028
Location: United States
Premium Member
Re: Centuries ago, biologists undertook the challenge of defining the term  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 21 Aug 2014, 13:05
11
12
Grammar:
But vs. however
Even they express the same meaning (contrast), we use "however" to connect two sentences and use "but" to convey contrast in one sentence.

Centuries ago, biologists undertook the challenge of defining the term “species,” however, even today, no single definition is universally accepted.

A. however, even today, no single definition is universally accepted.
Wrong. Explained above.

B. but even today, have not universally accepted a single definition.
Wrong. S-V agreement.

C. but even today, no single definition is universally accepted.
Correct.

D. but today, no single definition is even universally accepted.
Wrong. "even" is misplaced --> changes meaning.

E. however, even today, a single definition is not universally accepted.
Wrong. Explained above.

Hope it helps.
_________________

Please +1 KUDO if my post helps. Thank you.

"Designing cars consumes you; it has a hold on your spirit which is incredibly powerful. It's not something you can do part time, you have do it with all your heart and soul or you're going to get it wrong."

Chris Bangle - Former BMW Chief of Design.

General Discussion
Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 13 Dec 2011
Posts: 49
GPA: 4
Reviews Badge
Re: Centuries ago, biologists undertook the challenge of defining the term  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 21 Aug 2014, 22:36
Big Thanks for those explanations Mike and PQHai!!! Kudos to both of you.
Director
Director
avatar
S
Joined: 08 Jun 2010
Posts: 906
Re: Centuries ago, biologists undertook the challenge of defining the term  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 03 Sep 2015, 20:49
some persons in this forum said that we need subject in the clause after "but"

I learn english but not speak a lot

is wrong

I learn english but I do not speak a lot

I myself is not clear of this point,
Director
Director
avatar
S
Joined: 08 Jun 2010
Posts: 906
Re: Centuries ago, biologists undertook the challenge of defining the term  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 03 Sep 2015, 20:50
some persons in this forum said that we need subject in the clause after "but"

I learn english but not speak a lot

is wrong

I learn english but I do not speak a lot

I myself is not clear of this point,
Magoosh GMAT Instructor
User avatar
G
Joined: 28 Dec 2011
Posts: 4488
Re: Centuries ago, biologists undertook the challenge of defining the term  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 04 Sep 2015, 12:32
thangvietnam wrote:
some persons in this forum said that we need subject in the clause after "but"

I learn english but not speak a lot

is wrong

I learn english but I do not speak a lot

I myself is not clear of this point,

Dear thangvietnam
I'm happy to respond. :-) My friend, this forum sometimes has folks who confidently speak as if they know all the rules, but they don't. The rule you cite is a purely ridiculous rule.

I will modify your sentence. This is correct with the subject appearing again after "but"
I am learning English but I do not speak a great deal.
This is also correct without the subject: notice that we have to include the entire verb.
I am learning English but do not speak a great deal.
In the first, we have two clauses in parallel. In the second, we have two verbs in parallel: this latter case is much more common if the subject is the same. Why repeat the same subject? The GMAT prefers brevity!

Does this make sense?
Mike :-)
_________________

Mike McGarry
Magoosh Test Prep


Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. — William Butler Yeats (1865 – 1939)

Manager
Manager
avatar
Joined: 19 Nov 2014
Posts: 71
Location: India
Concentration: Technology, General Management
Schools: ISB '18
WE: Information Technology (Computer Software)
GMAT ToolKit User Reviews Badge
Re: Centuries ago, biologists undertook the challenge of defining the term  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 19 Nov 2015, 04:58
Hi mike ,

why is there a comma after but even today ??? is the usage of comma correct
_________________

KUDOS pls if you like My Post

Magoosh GMAT Instructor
User avatar
G
Joined: 28 Dec 2011
Posts: 4488
Re: Centuries ago, biologists undertook the challenge of defining the term  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 19 Nov 2015, 16:33
2
1
rohitkumar77 wrote:
Hi mike ,

why is there a comma after but even today ??? is the usage of comma correct

Dear rohitkumar77,
I'm happy to respond. :-)

What you are asking is a rhetorical issue, a stylistic issue, not a strict rule of grammar. This is beyond what you need to know for the GMAT. You have to recognize that a great deal about language is not simply right/wrong the way mathematics is. Here is the OA version, the choice (C) version of the sentence:

Centuries ago, biologists undertook the challenge of defining the term “species,” but even today, no single definition is universally accepted.

The comma after "even today" is perfectly correct. The sentence would also be perfectly acceptable without that comma. This is not a grammatical rule of any sort.------Fundamentally, a comma represents a slight pause in speaking. Every rule about written language reflects something about spoken language. In speaking this sentence, I would say it with a very short pause after the words "even today," and the comma represents precisely that pause. Therefore, at least according to my ear, I think the sentence is better with the comma.

Once again, this slight pause is rhetorical and stylistic in nature. This is NOT the kind of thing that the GMAT SC would test. In the flow of the sentence, we begin by talking about folks trying to define this well-known scientific term, "species." Well, scientists are smart people, so naturally, we would assume that any basic scientific term would have a clear definition after a hundred years. The "even today" contains a certain amount of rhetorical weight because it is such a surprise, such a shock given our implicit expectations. It's almost as if the listeners need that pause after the words "even today," because they need that extra split-second to adjust their expectations and receive something they will find surprising. This is one way to think about that comma. Once again, I want to emphasize that the question you asked and the answer I am giving are 100% beyond anything you would have to consider on the GMAT SC.

I would say, one very practical way to get comfortable with the sophisticated use of grammar is to do sophisticated reading. See this blog:
http://magoosh.com/gmat/2014/how-to-imp ... bal-score/

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
_________________

Mike McGarry
Magoosh Test Prep


Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. — William Butler Yeats (1865 – 1939)

Manager
Manager
avatar
Joined: 19 Nov 2014
Posts: 71
Location: India
Concentration: Technology, General Management
Schools: ISB '18
WE: Information Technology (Computer Software)
GMAT ToolKit User Reviews Badge
Re: Centuries ago, biologists undertook the challenge of defining the term  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 20 Nov 2015, 01:45
Thanks Mike ; nice explanation.
_________________

KUDOS pls if you like My Post

Senior Manager
Senior Manager
User avatar
Joined: 15 Oct 2015
Posts: 322
Concentration: Finance, Strategy
GPA: 3.93
WE: Account Management (Education)
GMAT ToolKit User
Re: Centuries ago, biologists undertook the challenge of defining the term  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 15 Dec 2015, 15:55
Mike nailed it for me.
but nobody pointed out that "however" was used in two different seems-correct sentences A and E. And interestingly they have the same meaning and are "correct".
For me it tells me something is wrong with the "however" by intuition. Cos you can't have two correct answers.
BUT all the way
Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 07 May 2016
Posts: 23
Re: Centuries ago, biologists undertook the challenge of defining the term  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 14 Dec 2016, 18:28
1
mikemcgarry wrote:
execnitinsharma wrote:
Centuries ago, biologists undertook the challenge of defining the term “species,” however, even today, no single definition is universally accepted.

A. however, even today, no single definition is universally accepted.
B. but even today, have not universally accepted a single definition.
C. but even today, no single definition is universally accepted.
D. but today, no single definition is even universally accepted.
E. however, even today, a single definition is not universally accepted.

Don't just answer the question, get some explanations going!!

Dear execnitinsharma,
I'm happy to respond. :-)

The first split concerns the word "however", a somewhat contentious grammar topic. True grammatical purists such as myself would say that the word "however" should not be used as a synonym for "nevertheless," and should only be used as a relative adverb ("However one might learn a new language, the first challenge is ..."). The GMAT does not adhere to those very high standards, and occasionally will use "however" as a synonym for "nevertheless." When used this way, "however" or "nevertheless" is a strong enough break that is requires a semicolon break in the sentence. It is not enough to have a comma splice separation: that is a kind of run-on sentence. Even if one allows for this expanded use of the word "however," using it in the middle of a sentence with a comma splice constitutes a run-on sentence, and both (A) & (E) make this mistake. They are both wrong.

Choice (D) makes a fascinating logical mistake. The intensifying adverb "even" must emphasize something that is extraordinary, contrary to expectations. "Even today" emphasizes that one might expect that scientist have worked out this definition long ago, and contrary to these expectations, they still haven't! That's a correct use of "even." By contrast, in (D) we have "even universally accepted" as if "universally accepted" is not something standard; but, the precise point of the sentence is --- it's the common standard in science for single definition of a term to be universally accept, and it's quite unusually that the term "species" has not achieved this status. In choice (D), the word "even" is emphasizing the exact opposite of what it should be emphasizing. Choice (D) is quite wrong.

Then we get to the split between (B) & (C). Choice (C) is perfectly correct, smooth, and completely natural sounding. It is flawless. It's hard to explain what is not ideal about (B) --- it's grammatically correct, but off. One problem is that the verb "have ... accepted" gets awkwardly divided with the adverb --- that is not clearly "wrong" but its slightly awkward. Also, consider the rhetorical focus of the sentence --- the topic of the sentence really is the term "species" -- as much as possible, the topic of the sentence should be the subject. It's not the subject of the first clause, but we can make it the subject of the second clause, and that's better than making the biologists the subject again. ---- Also, there's a very subtle logic mistake in choice (B). Think about that first subject. The subject is "biologists," and the particular "biologists" we have in mind are ones that were working on this problem "centuries ago." They are all dead now. The folks working "even today" are still biologists, but they are not the SAME biologists. This is problematic for the personal pronoun "they" --- technically, a personal pronoun establishes a "personal" connection with its antecedent, and it must refer exactly to its antecedent. Technically, to denote a new group of biologists, biologists alive now as opposed to biologist centuries ago, we would need a demonstrative pronoun (e.g. "those alive now ..."), not a personal pronoun. All of these problems make (B) unacceptable.

Choice (C) is the best answer, the only possible answer. Another high quality question from Veritas.

Mike :-)


Blast from the past!

Thanks for the response, but I respectfully disagree with your first two points regarding option B. How is one to know the subject of the sentence is really the species instead of the biologists? There is no indication for one over the other. If anything in order to maintain parallelism one would prefer "biologists" as the subject over the "species".

Also adding the adverb "not universally" does not make a sentence awkward (even in this case). "The Supreme Court has not universally accepted all court cases relating to abortion" Is a perfectly acceptable sentence (and not awkward).

So my question really comes down to the logical part that mike is questioning for B. When we say biologists from a certain era, and then refer to the same biologists, is it really not allowed to refer to biologists in general? We are not adding a definite article here by saying "These biologists" or "the biologists from Russia". We're simply saying "biologists". Is it a grammatical restriction that the biologists must refer to the exact same entity even though "biologists" by itself is a general term? For example
"In the past, cars used up much gasoline but are now more gas efficient"
Is that sentence above really illegal and illogical? I don't think so...

Which leads me to question whether answer choice B is really invalid.

Also accounting for the OA having a passive construction, I am starting the question how straightforward the correct and incorrect decision points for this question are.
Intern
Intern
avatar
B
Joined: 31 Jan 2015
Posts: 42
CAT Tests
Re: Centuries ago, biologists undertook the challenge of defining the term  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 15 Dec 2016, 01:20
OA is C.

A and E -- Run-on sentence
D- Placement of even
B- The subject of second sentence "spices" better than "biologist".
Intern
Intern
avatar
B
Joined: 21 Nov 2016
Posts: 42
Re: Centuries ago, biologists undertook the challenge of defining the term  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 19 Dec 2016, 18:34
Could someone explain the difference between the usage of But and However in simple terms with examples.

Thanks in Advance. :)
Magoosh GMAT Instructor
User avatar
G
Joined: 28 Dec 2011
Posts: 4488
Re: Centuries ago, biologists undertook the challenge of defining the term  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 21 Dec 2016, 17:26
1
1
reachskishore wrote:
Could someone explain the difference between the usage of But and However in simple terms with examples.

Thanks in Advance. :)

Dear reachskishore,

I'm happy to respond. :-)

The word "but" is a conjunction, and like other conjunctions ("and," "or," "yet,") it is quite versatile: it can join individual words or clauses, putting them in parallel.
He is a help but also a nuisance. (joins two nouns)
She is demur but opinionated. (joins two adjectives)
He walked into the room slowly but anxiously. (joins two adverbs)
He helped the old lady but then yelled at the boy scout. (joins two verbs in parallel)
He said the movie was a masterpiece, but she said it was an insipid waste of three hours. (joins two independent clauses in parallel)
In all cases, the word "but" indicates some kind of logical change in direction.

The word "however" can also indicate a logical change in direction. The word "however," though, is NOT a conjunction and plays absolutely no role in making things parallel. In its common use, the word "however" is an adverb--the technical name for this role is a conjunctive adverb (a term you do NOT need to know). Since the word is not a conjunction and plays no role in joining clauses, it would be common to have independent clause #1, then a semicolon break, then "however," then independent clause #2.

The word "however" has two different uses. See this blog for more detail:
The Word “However” on the GMAT

Does all this make sense?
Mike :-)
_________________

Mike McGarry
Magoosh Test Prep


Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. — William Butler Yeats (1865 – 1939)

Senior SC Moderator
User avatar
V
Joined: 14 Nov 2016
Posts: 1319
Location: Malaysia
GMAT ToolKit User Premium Member CAT Tests
Re: Centuries ago, biologists undertook the challenge of defining the term  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 04 Apr 2017, 15:35
execnitinsharma wrote:
Centuries ago, biologists undertook the challenge of defining the term “species,” however, even today, no single definition is universally accepted.

A. however, even today, no single definition is universally accepted.
B. but even today, have not universally accepted a single definition.
C. but even today, no single definition is universally accepted.
D. but today, no single definition is even universally accepted.
E. however, even today, a single definition is not universally accepted.


OFFICIAL EXPLANATION


Correct Answer: (C)

Beginning the underlined portion with “however” produces a run-on sentence (a comma splice, to be precise), so (A) and (E) are out. Instead, use the coordinating conjunction “but” to introduce an independent clause. In (B), “have not universally accepted” lacks a subject and therefore is not an independent clause. Answer (D)’s placement of “even” is illogical. Only choice (C) forms a complete sentence whose meaning is logical.
_________________

"Be challenged at EVERY MOMENT."

“Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t.”

"Each stage of the journey is crucial to attaining new heights of knowledge."

Rules for posting in verbal forum | Please DO NOT post short answer in your post!

Advanced Search : https://gmatclub.com/forum/advanced-search/

Manager
Manager
avatar
G
Joined: 27 Dec 2016
Posts: 243
Re: Centuries ago, biologists undertook the challenge of defining the term  [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 06 Sep 2018, 07:14
Is option A incorrect because we need ;however, instead of ,however?
GMAT Club Bot
Re: Centuries ago, biologists undertook the challenge of defining the term &nbs [#permalink] 06 Sep 2018, 07:14
Display posts from previous: Sort by

Centuries ago, biologists undertook the challenge of defining the term

  new topic post reply Question banks Downloads My Bookmarks Reviews Important topics  


Copyright

GMAT Club MBA Forum Home| About| Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy| GMAT Club Rules| Contact| Sitemap

Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group | Emoji artwork provided by EmojiOne

Kindly note that the GMAT® test is a registered trademark of the Graduate Management Admission Council®, and this site has neither been reviewed nor endorsed by GMAC®.